Coconut Hot Chocolate Recipe

Inspired by a recent trip to Sri Lanka, our coffee guru Jessica has created a coconut hot chocolate, infused with cinnamon. Perfect for chilly mornings at home.


To make two small mugs:

  • 3 tbsp 100% cocoa powder (we used Zuma, a natural-process Peruvian cocoa)
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut syrup, or agave also works well
  • 500ml unsweetened coconut milk (we used Plenish, which has a dash of salt)
  • 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon, to serve
  • 1 tbsp hot water



  1. Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and heat on a low flame, adding the cinnamon stick.
  2. Spoon 3 tbsp of cocoa powder into a cup, then add a splash of boiling hot water to make it into a smooth paste, working out any lumps with the back of a spoon. Add a splash more water until it’s a creamy consistency.
  3. Add the coconut syrup to the cocoa powder mixture, starting with 1 tbsp. (You can add more at the end, to taste)
  4. Once the coconut milk is hot, take the saucepan off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick.
  5. Stir in the cocoa mixture until it’s thoroughly combined. Taste for sweetness, adding more coconut syrup if necessary.
  6. Pour into mugs and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Curling up on the sofa highly recommended.



Baking for Kew

We are excited to partner with Kew Gardens for the fourth year running in celebration of their annual orchid festival. This year, the vibrant culture and biodiversity of Colombia is muse for the exhibition, running from 9th February to 10th March 2019 in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

Inspired by high-quality Colombian chocolate, we’re baking a cookie made with single origin Tumaco dark chocolate to celebrate the orchid festival. Come and try one from 31st January in the following select bakeries:

Abbeville Road, Balham, Barnes, Chiswick, Ealing, Earlsfield, Fulham Road, High Street Kensington, Hove, Neo Bankside, Northcote Road, Pimlico, Queen’s Park, Parsons Green, Richmond, Soho, Southbank, Wimbledon

You can also pick up a postcard offering an exclusive 20% off orchid tickets for GAIL’s customers in any of these bakeries.


To win a night’s stay for two with spa access at Hilton London Syon Park, a GAIL’s Hamper and two tickets to Kew Gardens, enter online at to enter. The closing date is 10 March 2019.


Baker’s Dozen with Caroline

Caroline started in our Delivery team nearly two years ago. She now works in Marketing and is an expert in all things digital. We sat down over a cup of milky Earl Grey (just how she likes it) to find out more about her life at GAIL’s, and what she spreads on her toast.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
My alarm goes off at 7, enough time to watch the news over a cup of coffee.

2. How do you take your coffee?
Filter in the morning, but I prefer to sip Earl Grey throughout the afternoon.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Our oat milk porridge, topped with maple syrup, blueberries and seeds.

4. How long have you been working for GAIL’s?
I joined in April 2017 as part of the Delivery team and moved across to the Marketing team as Digital Marketing Executive last January.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
Cheese and pickle sandwiches.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did it go?
I’ve baked bread before, but not since working at GAIL’s – I can’t compete with a 25-year-old sourdough starter.

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
Home, comfort and feeling peckish.

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Crunchy peanut butter and slices of banana.

9. What is the best part of your day?
Taking photos of our food, then eating it.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Fish fingers, buttered thick white bread, plenty of tartar and a squeeze of lemon – unbeatable.

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything from GAIL’s, what would that be?
Christmas Buns, hot from the oven, all year round.

12. Our bread is made with three primary ingredients. Four if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?
Good food, good company, time spent outdoors and plenty of tea.

13. What would you do for a living, if not this?
I’d love to be a baker.


The Ultimate Cheese Toastie Recipe

There’s no better antidote to cold winter weather than a hot cheese toastie, so we asked our cheesemonger and friend Rhuaridh of Buchanan’s Cheese, to share his ultimate cheese toastie recipe.


Ingredients to make one toastie:
2 slices of sourdough – we used our Waste Bread
100g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled
100g Ham Hock – we used Waitrose’s Pulled Ham Hock
1 leek, finely chopped into rings
Salted butter
Black pepper



  1. Add a knob of butter to a frying pan, then add the leek and sweat it down until soft.
  2. Butter the bread on both sides, then start to fill the toastie, leek first, then a layer of ham hock, finished with the Caerphilly, holding back a small handful of cheese. Season with pepper and close the sandwich.
  3. Heat another knob of butter in the frying pan at a medium heat. Sprinkle in a little more cheese to go underneath the bread.
  4. Carefully place the toastie in the pan, then place a stack of plates on top to press it down. After about three minutes, remove the plates and check the sandwich. Flip the toastie once the underside is crisp and golden brown, sprinkling a little more cheese into the pan to go underneath.
  5. After another two to three minutes, make sure the toastie is golden on both sides.
  6. Serve it with a side salad, or eat it straight from the pan if, like us, you can’t wait.

Baker’s Dozen with Mary Quicke

To capture a slice of life on Home Farm, we put our baker’s dozen of questions to Mary Quicke, whose family have run the Devonshire farm for 14 generations, and whose cheese we love to eat.


1. What time did you get up this morning?

2. How do you take your coffee?
I prefer tea. A flat white, if I must.

3. What do you usually have for breakfast?
Cheese starter (like a cheddary yogurt – yum), fruit that I grow in my garden, seeds, nuts, rolled oats and wheat germ.

4. How do you and GAIL’s know each other?
You make magic out of our cheese, butter, whey and buttermilk.

5. What’s the first food you remember loving as a child?
Poached salmon.

6. Have you ever baked bread? How did that go?
I love baking bread. My mother taught all her six children to bake the Doris Grant loaf, with wholemeal flour and a single rise. My favourite is a seedy spelt wholemeal loaf.

7. What does the smell of freshly baked bread remind you of?
Home. Comfort. Love. Happiness

8. What do you spread on your toast?
Quicke’s whey butter.

9. For us, bread is the fundamental thing. What’s fundamental for you?
Cheese! With great bread. And salad that I grow from heaps of different plants.

10. What’s in your ultimate sandwich?
Homemade wholemeal bread, or a sourdough if it’s not my own. Our whey butter and Cheddar and plenty of my salad leaves crammed in.

11. If we could give you a lifetime supply of anything we make, what would that be?
Cheese scones!

12. We work with three primary ingredients. Four if you include time. What are the main ingredients in your life and work, concrete or abstract?
Milk, starter, rennet, salt, time and love.

13. What would you do for a living if not this?
That’s difficult – maybe I’d make extraordinary flavoured salads?


Why the butter’s as important as the bread


We work closely with our friends at Quicke’s to ensure nothing from the Clothbound Cheddar that we buy goes to waste; from the whey strained from the curds at the beginning of the process, to the crumbly bits that don’t make it into a slice.

We first met Quicke’s on our quest to find the perfect cheddar for our Ham and Cheese Sandwich. We still love the richness of Quicke’s Clothbound Cheddar, and to us it’s the perfect pairing with roasted ham, mustard butter and French Dark Sourdough, which is why it’s been pride of place in our bakeries ever since.



We’re proud to butter our toast with Quicke’s Whey Butter. It’s made with whey cream, a bi-product from the Cheddar cheese-making process that would otherwise go to waste. Quicke’s add milk from their grass-fed herd to the whey cream and follow a rare heritage recipe to make the butter.

Whey butter is recognised by the slow foods movement as one of the great ‘forgotten foods’ and we love its rich and nutty flavour. Come in to try some on toast or a freshly baked Cheese and Chive Scone.



We started selling this bread in our shops this year – it’s made with Quicke’s Clothbound Cheddar and we love it on its own and we also make a lunch or tea sandwich with smoked Merano Speck.

We buy the whole wheel of cheese from Quicke’s for our Ham and Cheese sandwich, but to get a clean slice, the ‘core’ of the cheese is removed for easier cutting.

To put the core to good use, we’ve developed the Cheddar Stick, which is made using the offcuts of the Clothbound Cheddar. We mix the offcuts into a sourdough base, with thyme, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.

As the amount of offcuts fluctuates depending on how many Ham and Cheese sandwiches we make, so does the number of Cheddar Sticks that we bake.

We are excited by both the opportunity and challenge of working with Quicke’s beautiful dairy – watch this space as we keep developing more recipes.


Click here to read our Baker’s Dozen with Mary Quicke, whose family have run the Devonshire farm for 14 generations.